Our staff has shifted quite a bit since we posted our first aggregate AOTY list back in 2014. From refocusing our content to implementing The Brooklyn Plan™ to publishing our 2017 AOTY list, our roster of contributors has fluctuated substantially in terms of numbers and genre preferences. This ebb and flow…
Well, here we are. We made it, everyone
Editor’s note: Yes, it’s that time of the year again! While our own Album of the Year list is coming down the line, we have a ton of end of year content for you. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be exploring 2017 in various of ways: through curated summaries for specific…
It’s been a long time since I’ve watched They Live but I’m sure Rowdy Roddy Piper’s character would have proudly played this loud as hell. Hero In Error, back with a refreshed lineup, new music and bigger choruses than you’ve heard anywhere this side of a Mariah Carey Xmas compilation; ready to play riffs and chew bubblegum but there’s no bubblegum so… Riffs. With their brand new EP, Obey, the band punch into the rafters of anthemic, hard hitting metal and we have it streaming for you over the jump. Obey.
Since I started writing Grind My Gears, I’ve always focused on one project or band at a time. This has given me free reign to spew curse words and horrible imagery by the bucket load and I am inherently grateful to the editors and staff here for allowing me this. However, I feel like this column can step up its game. The other regular features on Heavy Blog are a cut above and such, from here on out, myself and whichever poor bastard I rope into helping me will try to match those standards. We’ll look at fresh grind compilations and releases, love letters to classic grind records and interviews and conversations with some of the cream of the modern crop. Maybe more, maybe less, I guess we’ll play it by ear (because it’s grind). Without further fanfare, please welcome your own damn self to Grind My Gears 2.0.
The Interbeing is a band that’s been making waves over the last few years. I keep seeing their name crop up in all sorts of places, like running orders for festivals or djent aficionados’ retorts to claim that djent is dead. Thus, when I was contacted to run their premiere, I was immediately intrigued; who are these oddly named bunch? Well, turns out that I should have listened to them sooner as they deal in the type djent/alternative metal for which I have a soft spot. Oh, and their new video is an absolutely delightful piece of science fiction, well produced and well written. What more do you need to know? Head on down below for your first listen!
Djent had an explosive entrance into the world of heavy music, around the start of the decade. It was a truly exciting occurrence, with first-wave acts like Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Cloudkicker filtering the technically-driven progressive sound of acts like Meshuggah, Sikth, and those of the budding “Sumeriancore” movement, into something altogether more accessible, while still retaining much of their forebears’ technical and progressive edge. Yet, like most new sub-genres, djent quickly devolved into pastiche and gave way to over saturation—perhaps a little bit quicker than most. Djent, it seems, has had a propperly ballistic trajectory, and—in 2017—as its momentum trails off, it’s hard to get excited about this once-promising phenomenon.
2017. As metal in the Internet Age continues to proliferate, its identity is in constant shift. Ideas about which genres mean what, the role of politics on music, the very fabric of the financial institutions which create the scene, all come into question as the barriers between fan, musician and business man collapse. And yet, despite of what alarmists might say to the contrary, great music is still being made across a wide variety of genres, inside and outside of the metal strata. That’s why these mid year lists are important; they allow us to more carefully consider the lighthouse releases thus far released during the year and the trends which they signify. When making this list, we attempted to consider truly stand out albums, which have something interesting to say about their respective genres, the artists themselves and the interplay therein. Thus, your mileage may vary. The idea of this list is not to be definitive or exhaustive. Indeed, such an effort would be inherently doomed to fail. Instead, this list attempts to present a facet into the trends running through our community as they manifest inside the Heavy Blog staff’s “collective taste”. As you read it, consider your own relationship to the insane amount of music and the ways in which you filter it. Perhaps we can offer our own alternative viewpoint.
A shift of pace from the rancid, foul grind that I regularly bring to the table as today bears witness to the sounds of Scotland’s latest metalcore miscreants. Check in for big bouncy riffs, hooks that kill and some fancy but not wanky tech chops. From the Sumerian school of guitar interplay and fast tracked to a scholarship on the Erra program, Aspire come in hard and heavy with the summer sounds on “Outsiders”. Taps aff, it’s time to swing your fists.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.